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Best Female Athlete: Paige Mason

Submitted by Clayborn Waters on December 11, 2014 – 8:44 amNo Comment

Mason plans to return to California upon graduation and pursue her dreams of illustrating for children’s books and the daily newspaper. Photo by KenDrell Collins

Senior Paige Mason was selected as the Best Female Athlete for the 2014-2015 Best of UALR Awards.

The Fresno, California native played four years of collegiate soccer, where she played her first two years at Fresno City College and finished her last two seasons at the UALR.

“I grew up watching my sister play,” she said.  “I really enjoy the physicalness and toughness you need to have to play soccer.”

Mason began playing soccer at age 5, but she took her skills to a new level when she competed four seasons at Edison High School.

“I adjusted playing on the high school level by getting my fitness up, and had to learn that it wasn’t just about being physically strong, but mentally strong and really playing and competing with heart.”

Mason also competed five years in a club soccer team for California Ballard VFC. While competing at Edison High School, she only played in her freshman and senior year. After her freshman season,  Mason was forced to sit out for her sophomore and junior year due to an ACL injury.

“When that first happened, it seemed as if i was prone to constantly tear my ACL,” she said. “I ended up tearing my ACL twice on both knees within a two-year time span. With that being said, I only had the chance to play soccer my freshman and senior year of high school.”

Recovering from the injury, Mason came back for her senior season and was named the defensive MVP for the Tigers. Despite not getting recruited out of high school due to two ACL injuries, she went on to compete for Fresno City College for her first two seasons.

Paige described her experience playing soccer at the junior college level.

“My junior college experience was one of the best experiences of soccer I have ever had. We were very successful the two years I layed there, and I really experienced what it was like to be on a successful team who played with heart.”

In her sophomore season, she scored five goals and six assists, which earned her all-conference honors. She received interests from a few schools, with UALR being one of them.

After her season ended at Fresno City College, she signed with UALR in March for the 2012-13 season. She was one of six players that was apart of the recruiting class.

“I made my decision for UALR because I was really intrigued by their art department and felt welcomed by a lot of the girls on the team.”

The midfielder started in all 36 games throughout her last two seasons at UALR and scored six goals. She scored four goals and played more minutes in her senior year. Mason also received Sun Belt Academic Rolls during her two seasons after maintaining over a 3.5 GPA.

Paige is currently finishing up her degree in studio art and serving as a residence assistance for UALR Housing. After graduation, the senior plans to return to California and pursue her dreams of illustrating for articles, children’s book, and illustrating a daily newspaper comic strip.

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